Is your fire extinguisher ready for an emergency?
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - It’s time to check your fire extinguisher. The week of October 9-15 marks Fire Prevention Week, and the National Fire Protection Association says fire extinguishers play an important role in fire safety. “You want to keep it in a place you can access it. It doesn’t do any good if it’s stored up in the attic, so maybe under the kitchen sink, under the stove, something like that so you can access it quickly,” said James Tomes, the President, and CEO of Telgian, a company that specializes in fire safety.
It’s not enough to simply have a fire extinguisher in your home. You also have to know how to use it. Just think of the word ‘pass.’ “Pull. You pull the pin out. You aim. You squeeze, and you sweep,” Tomes said. “It really is that simple.” On Your Side used a fire extinguisher simulator at Telgian to practice. “You actually want to shoot the extinguisher over the fire a little bit to knock the flames down,” Tomes said. The practice is good, but in the real world if the fire gets out of control just get out of the building. “There is nothing in your house worth your life,” Tomes added.
There are several things to inspect on the fire extinguisher in your home to ensure it is ready to be used in case of an emergency. First, check the gauge to make sure it’s in the green zone. Check the hoses and nozzles to make sure there are no holes or damage. Check for dents or rust, and check the fire extinguisher’s age. They’re generally good for 10 to 12 years.
The NFPA is also encouraging families to practice a fire escape plan that includes an outside meeting place, in case of a fire. Look for at least two ways out of every room, if possible, and ensure doors and windows open easily, according to NFPA guidance. Home fire drills should be practiced during the day and night.
Click here to access the Red Cross Fire Prevention Checklist.
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